Chandrababu Naidu urges Jagan to lead Visakha Steel Plant fight

Chandrababu Naidu
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Chandrababu Naidu

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TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday extended his party’s total support to the ‘Save Visakha Steel’ agitation and reiterated that his party’s elected representatives would be ever ready to resign from their posts for the sake of protecting the prestigious steel plant in the port city.

Mangalagiri: TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday extended his party's total support to the 'Save Visakha Steel' agitation and reiterated that his party's elected representatives would be ever ready to resign from their posts for the sake of protecting the prestigious steel plant in the port city.

Naidu wrote a letter to the convener of the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, saying that their continued struggle for saving the steel plant despite many hurdles and hindrances was laudable. It was important that Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party should join the steel plant agitation and lead it from the front.

The TDP termed it as heart-warming to see the consistent and united protests being carried out against privatisation of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), commonly known as Visakha Steel, under Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee. The RINL steel plant was achieved through a long-drawn struggle by the Telugu people who, in the 1960s, rose above region, religion and caste to unite for the cause under the slogan 'Visakha Ukku-Andhrula Hakku'.

Recalling the sacrifices made by steel plant agitators, Naidu said: "In spite of many hurdles, the steel plant was built and dedicated to the nation in 1992. Since the plant had accumulated losses to the tune of about Rs. 4,000 crore by 2000, there was a proposal to privatise the plant by the then Government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Upon the request of the then Government of Andhra Pradesh and my personal request, the Government of India provided a restructuring package of Rs. 1,333 crore, which helped to turn the plant profitable."

Naidu said that he would pledge his complete support to the struggle to save Visakha Steel Plant under the leadership of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee. Simultaneously, it was imperative that the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has to join, support and lead the struggle from the forefront. Only our collective and united struggle will save the steel plant from the privatisation move, he said.

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